VoIP with CommuniGate Pro

How to set up the VoIP features in CommuniGate Pro with a Sipura 3000 and Polycom phone.
Routing Outbound Calls to the VoIP-to-PSTN Gateway

Routing some or all numeric addresses (calls to the PSTN) from CommuniGate Pro to your FXO Gateway (Foreign eXchange Office—Sipura, in this case) is very easy.

First, log in to the Web-Admin Interface: https://mail.example.com:9010. Then, select the Settings menu option, and then Router (Settings→Router). Next, add the desired routing table entries for the matched numbers you want routed to the FXO gateway. For example:

NoRelay:Signal:<1*@example.com> = 1*@

This special syntax simply says, “ relay all calls starting with a 1 to the device at”, which for this example would be a Sipura 3000. Similar routing could be done using a 9 prefix, or 011 for international calls:

NoRelay:Signal:<9*@example.com> = *@
NoRelay:Signal:<011*@example.com> = 011*@

Note: for the 9-prefix example above, the 9 is stripped from the call when it is routed to the FXO device.

Much more complex signal routing and digit-matching plans can be configured—see the on-line CommuniGate Pro guide at www.communigate.com/CommuniGatePro.

At this point, you should have your software set up to route calls correctly. Now, you need either a softphone or an IP phone.

CommuniGate Pro supports SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). SIP enables real-time communications, including instant messaging, Voice-over-IP, video conferencing, multimedia, whiteboard and application sharing. Required for implementation is CommuniGate Pro version 5.0 or 5.1 and a SIP-enabled client device.

There are many types of SIP-enabled clients. One type of SIP client is a softphone. A softphone is a voice application run on your desktop computer, laptop computer or mobile computing device that acts just like a normal phone, except that you use a microphone or computer headset to talk.

These clients have all the functionality of their physical counterparts and, in some cases, more. Here are just a few of the softphones available at this time:

  • CounterPath's eyebeam and X-Lite products (Windows/Mac).

  • Twinkle (Linux).

  • SJphone (Windows/Mac/Linux).

Another group of SIP clients, known as IP phones, are physical devices that look just like any other desktop phone. However, these devices are connected to the Ethernet over Internet Protocol instead of the telephone network over twisted pair. These devices are just as easy to set up and configure as their softphone counterparts and typically have an HTML interface for exactly this purpose.

Finally, there are soft-client applications that are capable of providing multiple types of SIP services—including instant messaging, voice, video conferencing and whiteboarding—in one package. Some of these applications include Microsoft Windows Messenger, Linphone and KPhone, with more on the way from both the commercial and open-source sectors.

CommuniGate Systems integrates with all SIP-standards-based IP phones. Phones tested to date include those from Polycom, SNOM, Grandstream, ZyXel, Hitachi Cable, Cisco and various other lesser-known IP devices.

All SIP-standards phones should work with CommuniGate Pro. However, SIP has evolved and, in the event that a specific device is found not to work, CommuniGate Pro provides a SIP Workaround feature that can be implemented while the system is running to provide specific workarounds to a specific device.

The following describes the setup of a common IP phone, the Polycom 501. Most IP phones use a similar configuration process.

Each Polycom phone contains a built-in Web server for configuration. After putting the phone on your LAN network, it will get a DHCP address, which can be viewed on the phone's LCD screen.

Use your favorite Web browser to connect to the IP address of the phone. The default login for the Polycom phones is:

username: Polycom
password: 456

After logging in, select the SIP Conf. tab (Figure 3), and enter the hostname or IP address of your CommuniGate Pro system for the Outbound Proxy.

Figure 3. Set up the Polycom IP phone with the Web interface.

Locate the Registration tab (Figure 4), and enter your Display Name (real name), SIP address (same as your e-mail address) and Auth User ID and Password. The Auth User ID could be your short user name, such as demo, or it also can work as the fully qualified name, such as demo@example.com. Also enter the Address of the server, which in most architectures is the hostname or domain name of your environment, and often it is the same as your Outbound Proxy address above.

Figure 4. Finish setting up the Polycom phone.

That's it. After updating each change, the phone restarts. After your last set of changes, the phone should REGISTER as your account, and your account name will be displayed on the phone's LCD screen. Incoming calls to your account or extension will ring the phone, as well as your other SIP devices.

You are now ready to place a call. You can dial from one test user to another you've configured either by entering the login name or, alternatively, the extension assigned as the alias for that user. If you want to call people who also are using VoIP on the Internet, try calling them with their URI. For example, on your eyeBeam softphone, instead of dialing digits, type an address (JohnDoe@another.example.net). Of course, your CGP server must have access to the Internet. Enjoy!

Daniel Sadowski assists in the marketing department of CommuniGate Systems. He obtained his degree in International Communication Studies from Sonoma State University with study abroad at Uppsala University in Sweden. Sadowski contributes to CGS media relations, in addition to creating and writing of marketing collateral to include case studies, advertising, on-line content and articles.

Stephen Pratt is the Senior Sales and Systems Engineer for CommuniGate Systems. He has extensive experience in messaging servers along with in-depth knowledge of antivirus and antispam and VoIP technologies. His background includes work experience both as employee and installation and services of messaging systems with such companies as SUN Microsystems, Mirapoint, Resumix, Inc., and Computer Curriculum Corporation. Steve also serves on the SPECmail Server subcommittee and helps drive benchmark standards in performance testing.